- Subject index
What can American policymakers learn from the experiences of European democracies in confronting our common policy challenges? We can look to our own history and to the ideas emanating from our own public sphere, but by looking abroad, we can learn how our European allies have dealt with such issues as rising healthcare and pension costs, large-scale immigration, childcare and work-life balance, and climate change. Simply put, we can learn lessons from European policies that have proven both successful and from approaches that have failed. The contributors in this volume ask whether such policies might prove effective in the U.S. context, as well as what pitfalls we might avoid. Chapters have been written by policy area experts and are geared for an upper-level undergraduate audience and set up as a series of engaging case studies. At just 180 pages, this is an ideal supplemental volume for comparative public policy courses and would add an ideal comparative component to upper-level U.S. public policy courses.
Chapter 9: Political Democracy: Consensus Building through Democracy in Europe
Political Democracy: Consensus Building through Democracy in Europe
A functioning political democracy is a prerequisite to having an economic system that works for everyone instead of just the better off and the powerful. Most national democracies in Europe are founded on unique political, media, and communication institutions and methods that foster inclusiveness, participation, authentic representation, multiparty democracy, and majoritarian policy based on a consensus of viewpoints. These methods include proportional representation electoral systems, public financing of campaigns, free media time for candidates and parties, universal/automatic voter registration, Question Time, Children's Parliaments, exercises in deliberative democracy, and other methods that foster pluralism, relatively high voter participation, and consensus building. Having multiple parties in their national legislatures has ...